Ground down 83 stumps this weekend

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max384

Member
Nov 28, 2015
97
Eagle Rock, PA
I'm converting about 1/3 of an acre of woods on my property into lawn. Over the last few months, I cut down and processed 85 trees, which left me with 85 stumps, obviously. Most of these stumps were small, in the 6-12" range, and many were even smaller than that. I had probably a dozen over 12" and two that were around 30" in diameter. In order to get rid of them before the topsoil came, I rented a stump grinder over the weekend.

When I went to pick it up, I asked to also buy an extra set of teeth, as having used these before, I know how they can eat through teeth rather quickly. To my shock, he said they didn't carry extra teeth. I was dumbfounded that this wear item wouldn't be stocked at a location that rents these. If I had an inkling this would be the case, I would have ordered some online prior to picking the machine up. Anyhow, as I had predicted, I started wearing through the teeth pretty quickly. In order to preserve them for as long as I could, once they got dull, I would turn one tooth at a time, so I always had one sharp one. Although painfully slow-going, this mostly worked. I was left with two stumps that I just couldn't grind through by the end, as the teeth were so badly worn down, all it was doing was making wood dust with almost no progress to show for it.

When I turned in the grinder this morning, the service manager asked me how it went, and I told him I was annoyed that they didn't carry extra teeth to sell. He then replied that the teeth were all brand new, so why would I need any extra? Had he never used these before? Anyhow, I told him all the teeth were completely worn out. He looked at them and was visibly irritated, and then curtly left. WTF! Am I at all wrong here? I've rented these before (from different places), and they've ALWAYS had extra teeth, and never blinked an eye at requesting extra teeth for a big job.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,262
Downeast Maine
What kind of stump grinder is it? If ordered from the right place the teeth on my PTO grinder are fairly inexpensive.
 

gzecc

Minister of Fire
Sep 24, 2008
4,837
NNJ
Probably wasn't expecting an 85 stump one time rental.
 

hickoryhoarder

Minister of Fire
Apr 5, 2013
658
Indiana
I got exhausted just reading about the experience.
 

Mutineer

Burning Hunk
Dec 13, 2018
129
NE Ohio
I have rented a stump grinder several times in the last 12-14 years and the rental company always had spare teeth in the bin on the grinder, and they went over how to reposition or change the teeth on these beasts. Felt real manly walking behind them from ash stump to ash stump, destroying everything in the ground I could reach. Tim Allen had this feeling down perfectly in his routines back in the day.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
I yank them out. Cut them about 8 feet up and then put a heavy chain at the top and hook up one of my front wheel assist farm tractors and yank the entire thing. stump root ball and all. Let it sit there a while so the dirt dries out, knock most of it off and off to the burn pile it goes and I backfill the hole, if any. If it's too large. I drill holes in the stump and soak it with diesel fuel through the holes a few times, surround it with a big topless barrel, pile on a bag of charcoal and light it up. In a few days it's gone. Usually smells nice when roasting too.

Biggest I've ever pulled was an 14" diameter ash. A 15,000 pound tractor in 4wd pulls pretty hard.